Rankings and other measures of excellence

Overall UC Berkeley rankings can be found here.

U.S. News and World Report

The new “Best Global Universities Rankings” of U.S. News & World Report placed UC Berkeley fourth in the world. Only Stanford, Harvard and MIT ranked higher.

Berkeley starred as the top U.S. public university in U.S. News’s “Top Public Universities Rankings.

In the new rankings, Berkeley’s graduate programs placed first in the world in Chemistry, Computer Science, Ecology / Evolutionary Biology, Economics, English, Psychology, Public Policy, and Sociology; second in Statistics and Physics; and third in Engineering, Earth Sciences, Math, and Social Welfare. Six other subject areas ranked in the top 10.

Place Subjects
1st Chemistry, Computer Science, Ecology / Evolutionary Biology, Economics, English, Psychology, Public Policy, and Sociology
2nd Statistics and Physics
3rd Engineering, Earth Sciences, Math, and Social Welfare
4th Biological Sciences, History, Political Science
7th  Business
8th  Public Affairs
9th Public Health

Academic Rankings of World Universities

UC Berkeley is again ranked the top public university in the world and third overall (following Harvard, Stanford, and MIT) in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

The global ranking of universities, published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, focuses on quality of faculty and research. In the five broad academic fields ranked, Berkeley placed first in the area of natural sciences and mathematics, and in the top five in the areas of engineering/technology, computer sciences, and social sciences.

Among five specific subjects ranked, Berkeley took first place in physics and chemistry, and placed in the top five in mathematics, computer science, and economics/business.

Berkeley has ranked among the top four institutions every year since 2003, the year the ARWU rankings debuted. More than 1,200 universities are ranked by ARWU every year.

The 2015 rankings noted this about Berkeley: “Its faculty include seven Nobel laureates, 140 members in the National Academy of Sciences, 77 Faculty Fulbright Scholars, and 235 fellows in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In national surveys, Berkeley’s academic departments consistently rank among the top five in the country.”

Berkeley Shines in the ‘Times Higher Ed’ Reputation Rankings

The Times Higher Education has recognized UC Berkeley as one of the “elite six” world universities in its 2017 reputation rankings. As it did last year, Berkeley placed sixth, after Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford. After the top six, a big gap separates the No. 7 university, Princeton.

The reputation rankings are based on a survey of more than 10,000 academics worldwide, are just seven years old, and this is the seventh time Berkeley has placed in the “elite six.”

National Research Council

The National Research Council (NRC) has found that Berkeley continues to be one of the nation’s most preeminent universities for doctoral studies. In the latest study, Berkeley had the highest number of top-ranked doctoral programs in the nation, based on a regression analysis involving 20 criteria from more than 5,000 programs at 212 institutions.

Number of programs ranked within a range that extends into the top ten

Rank University Number of Programs
1 University of California, Berkeley 48 of 52
2 Harvard 47 of 52
3 Stanford 40 of 47

Number of programs ranked within a range that extends into the top five

Rank University Number of Programs
1 University of California, Berkeley 43
2 Harvard 40
3 Stanford 30

Number of programs assigned an upper range of first place

Rank University Number of Programs
1 Harvard 19
2 University of California, Berkeley 16
3 Stanford 11

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (cumulative 2004-2013)

Rank University Total
1 University of California, Berkeley 1,298
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1,133
3 Stanford University 1,052
4 Harvard University 751
5 University of Michigan 510
6 University of Washington 410
7 Cornell University 361
8 Princeton University 301
9 Georgia Institute of Technology 271
10 California Institute of Technology 265

Counts represent the number of NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award offers to students who indicated each institution as their first choice for graduate school during the period 2004-2013, from the total 13,587 awards made during the 10-year period. The metric shows the choices of the nation’s top science and engineering graduate students, reflecting which institutions they believe offer them the best graduate research opportunities.

Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships (cumulative 1986-2014)

University Total
University of California, Berkeley 127
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 83
University of California, Los Angeles 76
Harvard University 62
University of Texas, Austin 50
Stanford University 48
Yale University 47

Graduate Alumni Accomplishments

Awards Total
Nobel Prize winners 20
MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipients 39
National Medal of Science recipients 30

Graduate Alumni Satisfaction

Berkeley doctoral alumni, surveyed 5 to 45 years after graduation, report very high level of satisfaction with their graduate education and the value of their Ph.D.s:

  • 90% overall (and 85% of those who pursued non-academic careers) say they were well prepared for their careers by Berkeley
  • 95% overall (and 93% of those who pursued non-academic careers) would pursue a doctoral degree again
  • 86% would select the same field of study
  • 95% would choose graduate study at Berkeley if they could start again

The Berkeley Graduate Profile is produced by the Institutional Research and External Relations units in the Graduate Division (grad.berkeley.edu).

Additional Resources:

Graduate Student Enrollment

Among the 40,894 students at Berkeley, nearly 28% are pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees in more than 100 disciplines.

The fall 2017 incoming graduate class of 3,998 students was selected from among 41,500 applicants.

Term and Year Applications
Fall 2007 32,289
Fall 2017 41,500
Enrollment (Fall 2017) Doctoral Master’s Total
Overall 5,335 6,000 11,335
Incoming class 897 3,101 3,998
Applicant Age
Average 28
Youngest 18
Oldest 66
Women Underrepresented Minorities
46% 12%
Graph of Entering Class 2015
Ethnic Diversity Total
American Indian/Alaskan Native 60
Black/African-American 393
Chicano/Mexican-American 490
Chinese/Chinese-American 847
East Indian/Pakistani 347
Japanese/Japanese-American 108
Korean 181
Latino/Other Spanish-American 414
Other/Unknown 882
Pacific Islander 11
Pilipino/Filipino 110
Thai/Other Asian 225
Vietnamese 136
White/Caucasian 4,110
Total 8,314
International Graduate Students Doctoral Master’s Total
China 434 500 934
India 116 346 462
Canada 85 74 159
Korea 92 55 147
France 27 75 102
Taiwan 48 43 91
Mexico 32 44 76
Germany 47 15 62
Brazil 29 27 60
Chile 29 27 56
Japan 20 29 49
Singapore 19 29 48
United Kingdom 33 13 46
Iran 38 5 43
Turkey 25 13 38
Thailand 22 14 36
Israel 26 9 35
Colombia 18 17 35
Italy 20 14 34
Australia 20 13 33
Spain 15 14 29
Peru 13 16 29
84 other countries 190 227 417
Total 1,398 1,623 3,021

Graduate majors (Fall 2017 Enrollment)

Berkeley offers 101 graduate majors (master’s and doctoral), 93 of which grant doctoral degrees.

School/College Doctoral Master’s/
First Professional
Total
Business Administration 67 1,507.5 1,574.5
Chemistry 454 36 490
Education 194.5 96 290.5
Engineering 1,332.5 797.5 2130
Environmental Design 77 327.5 404.5
Journalism 109 109
Law 69 1,163.5 1232.5
Letters & Science (all divisions) 2,528.5 101 2,629.5
Arts & Humanities 622 13 635
Biological Sciences 479 4 483
Mathematics & Physical Sciences 604.5 52 656.5
Social Sciences 823 32 855
Natural Resources  379.5 80 459.5
Optometry 41 288 329
Public Health 134 523.5 657.5
Public Policy 12.5 216.5 229
School of Information 19.5 579 598.5
Social Welfare 23 175 198
Individualized Major 3 3
TOTAL 5,335 6,000 11,335

Degrees Granted

Degree Date 2005 – 06 2006 – 07 2007 – 08 2008 – 09 2009 – 10 2010 – 11 2011 – 12 2012 – 13 2013 – 14 2014 – 15 2015 – 16 2016 – 17
Doctoral 753 895 864 863 888 906 887 936 930 1,066 818 765
Master’s/Professional  2,337 2,351 2,406 2,385 2,397 2,481 2,506 2,552 2,045 2,764 3,084 2,991

Career Outcomes

Top 5 academic institutions that hire Berkeley Ph.D.s

  • University of California System
  • Stanford
  • University of Michigan
  • MIT
  • Harvard

Long-term employment trends

(Based on a survey of Ph.D. recipients who graduated between 1968 and 2008)

  • 57% of Berkeley doctoral alumni (and 78% arts and humanities Ph.D.s) work in 4-year academic institutions compared to 41.4% nation-wide
  • 23% work in the private for-proft sector
  • 13% work in the non-profit sector or for the state, local or national government
  • 7% are self-employed or have other employment

Career placement of doctoral degree recipients

First positions of students who graduated between 2011 – 2016 (based on a survey conducted 12-18 months after graduation).

Industry Count Percent
Business (for profit) 666 27%
College or university* 1,377 55.7%
Government 86 3.4%
Hospital/clinic 13 .5%
K-12 school 33 1.3%
National laboratory 115 4.7%
Self-employed 25 1%
Other/unknown 146 6.4%
Total 2,462 100%

*First positions taken by Berkeley Ph.D.s who went into academia


Doctoral Alumni Placements by Program

Sources of financial support for graduate students (2016 – 2017)

Chart of Humanities Funding 2015 Chart of Sciences Funding 2015

An array of funding programs

Campuswide multi-year fellowships:

Berkeley offers several prestigious multi-year awards for the most highly qualified entering doctoral students, including:

  • Berkeley Graduate Fellowships (all fields)
  • Chancellor’s Fellowships and Cota Robles Fellowships (all fields; for applicants who will enhance the diversity of the graduate student population at Berkeley)
  • Mellon Graduate Student Excellence Fellowships (humanities and history)
  • Regents’ Fellowships (humanities and social sciences)
  • Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowships (science and engineering)
Humanities/Social Sciences multi-year packages include:
  • 2 years covered by Graduate Division (full fees plus stipend for the academic year and summer)
  • 2 years covered by department through a combination of fellowships, GSI (teaching) or GSR (research) appointments, including fees and a salary
  • 1 year of Doctoral Completion Fellowship from Graduate Division, including full fees plus stipend (contingent on timely progress to degree)

Sciences/Engineering multi-year packages include:

  • 2 years covered by Graduate Division (full fees plus stipend for the academic year and summer)
  • 3 years covered by department through a combination of fellowships, GSI (teaching) or GSR (research) appointments, including fees and a salary

These awards are offered to doctoral students of outstanding achievement and potential through a highly competitive selection process conducted by a campuswide faculty committee.

Other sources of graduate student support for entering and continuing students:

Departmental support packages:

Departmental packages may include funding from various sources, such as block grants, departmental fellowships, and GSI (teaching) and GSR (research) appointments.

Continuing students may also apply for fellowship support from the Graduate Division, including:

  • Mentored Research Awards
  • Summer Grants
  • UC Dissertation Awards
  • Conference Travel Grants
  • Parent Grants
  • Privately-sponsored fellowship programs